Pennant Dun Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

I developed the Pennant Dun in early fall 2020 as a tiny, delicate, yet buoyant and visible mayfly-style attractor dry. Its effectiveness largely derives from its unusual wing and hackle design, which allows for a large wing on a small fly.

While I’m still working on other versions of the basic pattern that are more imitative, as well as using the wing/hackle method on larger attractor-style patterns (a variation of Mike Mercer’s Missing Link using this wing style is in the works, for example), the copper and purple versions of this pattern were good attractors on the Yellowstone River on early fall mornings, when there were a few midges and mayflies hatching, but no real specific hatches.

Recipe

Hook: #14-20 standard emerger hook, here #18.

Thread: 8/0, here purple. Note that the thread will show through the body material, so sometimes it’s good to change thread colors after tying the body, depending on the effect you wish to produce. On the copper version of this fly, I use rusty brown thread under the tail and body, but fire orange for the hackle, wing, and head. I want the hot orange head, but it makes the body too orange if I use it for the whole fly.

Body: Veevus Body Quill, here claret.

Hackle: 1x oversized dun-grizzly, dun badger, or light dun.

Wing: Silver MFC Widow’s Web, trimmed into a pennant shape.

TJ Hooker Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

TJ Hooker Fly Pattern

The TJ Hooker fly is similar in some respects to the Zirdle Bug in that it’s a combination streamer and stonefly nymph. When it’s fished dead-drift, it looks like a stonefly, while when it’s twitched or dragged (or even mended) it looks like a small sculpin. This combination is ideal when float-fishing or Euro-nymphing on foot, because it allows multiple types of presentation in one cast.

The TJ Hooker was originally developed by Solitude Flies, but the color variation given here is mine. Here are their colors.

The version given here is heavy and mostly intended for Euro-nymphing in the fall (hence the orange bead, suggestive of eggs), but it’s also effective during the summer when tied with standard beads or no bead at all. Don’t hesitate to fish small ones as droppers under large hoppers!

TJ Hooker Fly Video

Fly Recipe

Hook: #6-16 2xl barbed 60-degree jig hook, here a Kumoto KJ2322 #12. Note that this hook is rather oversized and a #12 looks like a #10 in similar hooks from Daiichi and probably most other brands. Feel free to substitute a 90-degree jig hook for use with brass beads, or even a standard 2xl nymph hook.

Bead: Here a 5/32″ orange slotted tungsten “jig” bead. Standard versions of the fly use gold or black beads. For lighter rigging, use a brass bead or none at all.

Weight: .010 to .025 lead or lead-free wire, optional.

Thread #1: Brown 6/0. Match the chenille color roughly when changing colors.

Tail: Marabou or chickabou. Here bar-dyed MFC Buggerbou in tan/brown is used. Feel free to change colors as desired.

Body: Chenille, here #0 Cascade Crest New Age Chenille in “Henry’s Lake.” Feel free to use your preferred color.

Legs: 2-3 strands MFC Sexi-Floss tied Girdle Bug-style. Here size small copper brown legs are used. Feel free to substitute.

Thread #2: Fl. fire orange 6/0 to create a hotspot. Standard versions of the pattern omit this.

Collar: A couple turns of Brownstone SLF dubbing to distinguish versions of this pattern with extra weight from those that don’t in my fly box. This step is purely optional.

Baby Sculpin Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

The Baby Sculpin is a continuing evolution of a video I posted a while back in which I used Meyer’s Mini Leech as a starting point to create a small sculpin pattern. This is the “production” version for 2020, tied with a tungsten bead on a jig hook to reduce hangups. Small dead-drifted sculpins are excellent patterns for larger browns, both on summer float trips and in the fall when the browns are sitting in deep runs preparing for the spawn. Fish this one under an indicator from a drift boat or when fishing long, deep runs on foot, or Euro-style in pocket water.

Recipe

Hook: 2xl jig nymph, #8-12. Alternately, use a scud hook if you don’t need the fly to ride hook-up.

Bead: Slotted tungsten to match hook size and to match or contrast overall body color. Here, black nickel 5/32-inch. If tying on a scud hook, use a standard brass or tungsten bead.

Weight (Optional): .015 lead or lead-free wire, just a few turns to hold the bead in place.

Thread #1 (Jig Versions Only): Clear monofilament tying thread. Use Thread #2 for the entire fly if tying on a scud hook.

Body Bump: Australian possum or other coarse nymph dubbing. Good colors are olive, brown, black, antique gold, and rust. Here, olive. Omit on scud hook versions.

Legs: 3-5 small Sexi-Floss or similar barred spandex legs. Choose a sculpin-esque color from tan to olive. Here, amber.

Belly/Flash: Pearl-gold Ice Wing Fiber or similar. Angel Hair can substitute.

Thread #2: To match overall body color. Here, olive-dun Uni 8/0.

Wing: Pine squirrel strip. Good colors are gold, tan, brown, olive, and black.

Collar (Optional) and Head: Same dubbing as “body bump,” tied using a dubbing loop.

Tying Note: If you’re tying this on a scud hook, tie in the legs as shown here, then tie in flash above and below the hook to shield the leg tie-in point and to hide the hook shank. Then tie the wing above the hook so it hangs free as on a Mayer’s Mini Leech. Then dub the head as standard. This version is much faster to tie but more snag-prone. As such, I usually use it as a dropper nymph in #12 hanging from a huge dry fly such as a Chubby Chernobyl, rather than fishing it deep.

 

Clouser Swimming Nymph Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

This variation of the Clouser Swimming Nymph includes bead chain eyes to make it ride upside-down. This is an excellent stillwater pattern in both cold water (trout) and warmwater (bass, crappie, and panfish) settings. It is especially evocative of damselfly nymphs, though it possesses crossover appeal as a leech, small crayfish, or large mayfly.  You can fish it deep on a sink-tip or twitched shallow over the weed-tops on a floating line.

Clouser Swimming Nymph Recipe

Hook: Dai-Riki #285 or other curved-shank 3xl nymph hook, #8-14, particularly #12.

Weight: A few turns of .010 to .25 lead or lead-free wire at the center of the hook shank.

Thread: 8/0 to match the fly body color. Here, olive-dun. Other good color variants are black, rust, and tan.

Eyes: Black or gold bead-chain. Adjust eye size to change the sink rate.

Tail: Olive-dyed grizzly chickabou or standard marabou.

Rib: Copper wire, color to match or contrast body. Here, brassie copper Ultra-Wire is used.

Abdomen: Olive Hare’s Ear Dubbing, thin.

Wing Case: Several strands of peacock herl.

Thorax: Same as abdomen, full.

Legs: Olive-dyed or natural brown India Hen back or similar buggy, webby feather, tied in vee-style.

Murdich Minnow Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

The Murdich Minnow is one of the most popular smallmouth bass flies these days. The variation I tie using a synthetic hair/flash blend for the tail and one of several “body wrap” materials in place of the original flash chenille body is my favorite swimming baitfish imitation for all moderate-sized warmwater predator fish: smallmouth & largemouth bass, small pike, large crappie, white bass, hybrid stripers, etc.

Other good color combos for the Murdich Minnow run the gamut of popular warmwater fly and lure colors: chartreuse/white, “fire tiger,” brown over gold, or really any of the color combos that you’ll find Rapalas and similar long, slender plugs made in.

Tie on the fly using a non-slip mono loop to allow it to swim, using either a floating line or a sink-tip depending on the depth you want to reach. As tied, the fly has a very neutral buoyancy and will sink quite slowly, giving it a “near topwater” action when fished without added weight.

Hook: #2/- to #4 long-shank ring eye such as MFC 7050, Gamakatsu SP11-3l3H, etc.

Thread: 3/0 or heavier to match desired body color.

Tail: SF Flash Blend in white, yellow, chartreuse, or other baitfish color.

Cheeks: Ice Fur to match tail.

Body: Lion Go For Faux or similar “faux bunny” yarn twisted together with UV Polar Chenille, wrapped forward, and trimmed to shape.

Markings: Use Prismacolor or Pantone or Sharpie Markers to color the fly as desired. All colors should have a red hotspot.

Eyes: 1/4″ to 5/16″ stick-on eyes secured with gel super glue and UV resins.

Glass Caddis Pupa Fly Tying Video

Posted on March 4th, 2021 in Fly Tying Videos

Here’s a green Glass Caddis Pupa in honor of the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. Feel free to alter the basic color scheme to match whatever caddis you need to imitate. The glass beads on the Glass Caddis pattern provide a three-dimensional, segmented appearance with lots of sparkle.

Hook: 1x short, 1x strong scud, #14. Here, Dai-Riki #135.

Beads: Four chartreuse 11/0 glass seed beads slid onto the hook, then bound down slightly separated from one another up the hook shank.

Thread: 8/0 olive-dun.

Abdomen: Beads and olive squirrel dubbing.

Head: Two strands natural ostrich herl.